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Gregory R. Mann, Ph.D. {ret.}

Silvertip Shark

“Carcharhinus albimarginatus”

Silvertip Sharks are large slender sharks with long and broadly rounded snouts that resemble Gray Reef Sharks but can easily be distinguished by the prominent white margins on their fins. Their eyes are large and round and they have an angular first dorsal fin and pectoral fins, triangular upper teeth and an inter-dorsal ridge. Silvertips are dark gray or gray-brown above and white below; all fins have conspicuous white tips and posterior (rear) margins. They reach a maximum size of about 3 meters (average 2.5 meters) and a maximum weight of about 163 kilograms. Silvertip Sharks are found over or adjacent to continental and insular (island) shelves and offshore banks. They are thought to prefer offshore islands, coral reefs and banks to depths of 800 meters. 

Silvertips are aggressive apex predators which feed mainly on fishes also rays, cephalopods and small sharks. These sharks are viviparous with 1-11 pups per litter (average 5-6). Gestation period is about one year, young are born in summer. Size at birth 55-80 centimeters. In the southern hemisphere, both breeding and pupping occur in summer. Silvertip Sharks are potentially dangerous and according to the International Shark Attack File, there have been 4 provoked attacks by this species on humans with no fatalities since records began.

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